To excel in today’s competitive environment, business professionals need more than leadership skills, critical thinking, and specific credentials to accomplish goals and fulfill dreams.
It takes a strong and disciplined mind, a character trait we call mental toughness, to help you get through critical moments of performance. Mental toughness enables you to adjust to the changeovers and ambiguities that create today’s uncertain business environment.
This brand of toughness pushes you through hard situations when you might otherwise feel like folding under pressure.
With a strong, disciplined mind, you become self-directed and self-reliant. You better manage your thinking and emotions and make your own decisions rather than being controlled by the business environment, the opinion of others, or momentary situations.
“The undisciplined are slaves to moods, appetites and passions” says motivational expert Stephen R. Covey.
Acting on an undisciplined mind can lead to dependence on others, reckless thinking, and even worse decision making, all of which can compromise your reputation. An undisciplined mind is an open invitation giving others permission to control you, leaving you vulnerable to their agendas.
How do you prevent becoming the victim of an undisciplined mind?
By facing and overcoming two opponents: one internal, the other, external.
The Internal Opponent
The first opponent is yourself. Specifically, the limitations you put on yourself. Placing “caps” or limits on your potential quickly stops you from accomplishing your goals and dreams.
This opponent is a cunning foe that knows your weaknesses and will stop at nothing to break you down. This foe listens to your fears, anxieties, self-doubts, and self-limitations and strikes when you are at your weakest.
This foe is present every time you whine about your work, complain about not getting that deserved promotion, or fail to fulfill a commitment.
There are three ways to defeat this internal foe.
First, be self-directed. Pay attention to what you are thinking. Do not be unduly influenced and controlled by the business environment, the opinion of others, or temporary circumstances.
Second, approach your responsibilities with a clear mind by removing all unrelated thoughts that interfere with your performance.
Lastly, focus on a single-defined purpose to achieve your desired result.
The External Opponent
The second opponent is every external obstacle that challenges such critical elements of mental toughness as patience, resilience, and persistence.
Here are three ways to subdue these:
Don’t waste time whining. We all make mistakes and experience setbacks and disappointments. Do everything necessary to bounce back from life’s “bumps in the road”.
Second, consciously design the life you want, not one determined by the moment or outside circumstances.
Lastly, see each obstacle from a different perspective. Ask probing questions that help you see things clearly while searching for solutions.
Every day your credibility and reputation is on the line. Don’t become your own worst enemy. There are no limits to what you can accomplish. Use mental toughness to reach your intended goals and dreams. As author William Feather succinctly put it: “If we don’t discipline ourselves, the world will do it for us.”
Copyright 2014 Jennifer Touma Mindscape